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Fungal toenail infection

(25 Posts)
TitsalinaBumSquash Tue 04-Jan-11 13:26:58

Hi, this is a bit gross but im not sure what to do.

I have a really bad fungal infection on my toe nails, 4 of them.
The big toe is really badly deformed and looks disgusting the others are getting to be just as bad.

I have had 2 courses of the nail paint with no result at all.
I went back to the GP who said she couldn't do anything as the tables to treat it are to 'high risk' and wouldn't I rahter have bad nails than something alot worse caused by the tablets.

I know a fungal infection isn't the end of the world but im getting really self concious about it, when im swimming and stuff.

Has anyone had a bad infection that has been cleared up through tablets or the removal of the nails?
Is it worth seeing a different GP at the surgery for a second opinion?

OhYouBadBadKitten Tue 04-Jan-11 17:31:56

why are the tablets considered too high risk?

gastrognome Tue 04-Jan-11 17:43:02

I had an ongoing fungal infection on my big toenail for several years. Tried the nail paint, tea tree oil and various other remedies to no avail. I eventually managed to get it cleared up by soaking my toes in raw cider vinegar (which you can get in health food shops). Only had to do it a few times and the nail is perfectly healthy now. Just have to rinse feet well afterwards!

nightcat Tue 04-Jan-11 17:43:46

Don't know what tablets you mean, but rather than trying to kill the fungus, all you need is a decent zinc supplement - this is because fungal infections are opportunistic and set in when the immunity is low. Antibiotics will not work either, in fact they might even make it worse by further suppressing immunity.

grendel Tue 04-Jan-11 17:50:35

Gastrognome: That's very interesting. I might give that a try. How long did you have to soak them for and how frequently?
It takes quite a long time for the infected part of the nail to 'grow out' in my experience so how could you tell when it was OK to stop the soaking?

TheBigZing Tue 04-Jan-11 18:08:27

Gastrognome - I'm extremely interested in the cider vinegar remedy - I want to try this. Is it not the same cider vinegar you can by in the supermarket? How long do you soak for and how frequently?

OP - my gp tried to talk me out of taking the tablets because they are extremely expensive apparently. The cost (over the prescription charge) is picked up by the surgery. So that might be why your gp discouraged you from the tablets.
However I was eventually prescribed the tablets (by a locum who said he didn't care about the cost!) and my nails started growing back normally. Then the gp didn't give me a repeat prescription because he said the fungus was dead and the deformed nail would grow itself out in time. It didn't. As soon as I stopped the tablets the fungus set in again. I now have 3 nails like this but I haven't asked for the tablets yet because I've been either pregnant or breastfeeding for the last 3 years.

Wrt how it looks - I manage swimming and sandals ok because I trim the affected nails to within an inch of their lives and paint them pretty colours. No one is looking closely enough to notice they're twice the thickness of the others.

gastrognome Tue 04-Jan-11 19:28:12

I probably soaked my foot for about 10 minutes at a time in a solution of half vinegar, half water. I was a bit rubbish at remembering to do it so only soaked it every couple of weeks or so, and was really surprised to see that the infected part of the nail was growing out after a few weeks (I didn't really expect it to work, TBH!). So maybe soaked the nail a total of 7 or 8 times over a period of a 3-4 months. I imagine if the infection is really bad it wouldn't hurt to soak the nail more regularly.

Of course different remedies work for different people so there's no guarantee this'll work for everybody, but at least it's fairly cheap and if it doesn't work you can always use the leftover vinegar on your salad! (erm, left in the bottle I mean, not the stuff you've been soaking your feet in!).

I read somewhere that it's best to use "raw" organic cider vinegar, whatever that means, so I got mine at a health food shop (here in Belgium). Not sure if the supermarket stuff has the same benefits.
Apparently it can also help to drink a little bit of the cider vinegar every day. I didn't bother but if you can stomach it, why not!

TitsalinaBumSquash Tue 04-Jan-11 21:09:46

The firstimeinoticed it I only had one bad nail and my gorgeous gp gave me the nail paint that you use and file down the nail everyday, I did this for nearly a year but it didn't work.
When I went back I saw a different dr and she said the tablets can be hard on the Liver so thats why she wouldn't give them to me.

I file mine right back but they are so deformed and sore now it really hurts, they bleed and flake off <balk> the big toe is especially bad.
I would even be willing to go through minor surgery to have themremoved if need be, it's really getting me down, they are so noticable really yellow/brown and they ca't really be painted over.

Thanks for all your advice.

kreecherlivesupstairs Wed 05-Jan-11 07:49:34

Mine were horrid for about 12 years. I had the liver destroying tablets for two years, I had the ones that you take in pulses of a week on three off and various paintables. the only thing that worked was having both removed last year.
It was a tiny bit painful, but the relief of being able to wear closed in shoes is indescribible.

shodatin Wed 05-Jan-11 17:38:48

I had a course of tablets - Lamasil I think, and yes, was told they were expensive. Not nice side-effects and made no difference even after months of treatment.
A chiropodist helped when mine was first diagnosed (after removal of toenail) and made it look better at least, but nothing helped for years until I used some spare Multi-Repair cream by Neutrogena a few weeks ago.
Now I know about cider vinegar, will try it, and go back to MR Cream if necessary.
Good luck.

Elibean Wed 05-Jan-11 20:51:57

I had a toenail infection over just about all my toenails, and eventually had the tablets (paint didn't work, though it did work on fingers on a different occasion). No side effects, no problems, fungus cleared up within a few months and has never come back.

Given that I had just finished a year's treatment for hepatitis, and had a slightly damaged liver prior to treatment, I can't understand why a GP would call the tablets 'high risk' confused?! Yes, they are potentially hepatotoxic, but the GP can do blood tests every month to check liver function and make sure its NOT harming you.

And I do trust my GP, she is pretty careful about prescribing and knew I'd had hepatitis.

Elibean Wed 05-Jan-11 20:52:38

but fascinated by vinegar remedy, and would try that for sure if it happens again!

alypaly Thu 06-Jan-11 00:37:11

you could try permitabs and soak your feet in the solution

Chrissy22 Thu 24-Jan-13 20:26:23

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

dopamax Sat 26-Jan-13 13:56:33

my big toes are green and black and hurt wot should I be doing....gp or ???? Very sore please......

nickelbabe Sat 26-Jan-13 13:58:46

I've got it in 4 of my nails too - in one nail, it's only halfway across, which looks really weird.

yes, they're a bit deformed, but I can't use the paint while i'm breastfeeding.

so they'll have to wait.

To be honest, when I need to show my feet, I use nail varnish on my toes.

nickelbabe Sat 26-Jan-13 14:01:32

the cider vinegar gastro is talking about is the stuff you find in farm shops for giving to chickens etc in the winter smile

nickelbabe Sat 26-Jan-13 14:02:22

zombie thread


still, it's good, I've been wondering about this for a while saw january but not year

JustCallMeBaldrick Sat 26-Jan-13 14:02:54

I've got 1 nail affected, and I'n trying the 'gouge as much nail as possible out/off after soaking, then douse it in tea tree oil' approach, as suggested by a podiatrist. Might try the cider vinegar now though!

poorbuthappy Sat 26-Jan-13 14:03:06

My GP also told me the tablets were high risk. I'd taken them before and they work, but, (to my shame) I didn't finish the course. confused So to hear they are expensive makes a lot more sense.
Apparently Vicks vabour rub also works.

DoItToJulia Sat 26-Jan-13 14:03:12

I have heard that good quality Manuka honey could do the trick, slathered on the affected area daily.

Floralnomad Sat 26-Jan-13 14:04:30

I took the tablets ( terbenafine I think) for about 6 months which cleared mine . I agree with the poster who said that Doctors are reluctant to prescribe it because of the cost . If you have no existing problems with your liver I can't see that as a reason not to take them as most pills are 'hard ' on your liver . I'd tried numerous over the counter remedies before and they hadn't worked and I only had 2 affected nails.

Erebus Sat 26-Jan-13 15:49:42

Why would you give chicken cider vinegar?! Genuinely interested.

I too am a gnarly yellowed toenail sufferer. I blame years in Australia in the north where 'skin conditions' are rife due to the humidity. Even those bronzed Aussie surf gods don't look so hot from the ankle down.


nickelbabe Sat 26-Jan-13 15:59:01

chickens? it's like a tonic for them when they're poorly. smile

Tippi123 Tue 13-Aug-13 20:09:37

alypaly, you mentioned Permitabs to treat fungal nails. Do you have any experience in using them? How often do you soak your feet? How long do you keep your feet in the soak? How long have you been using this treatment for? And what concentration would I need?
If anyone else knows about Permitabs, I would love your thoughts on it. Does it work?

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